Washington Nationals Need To Keep It Simple At The Winter Meetings

Jun 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker (R) talks to general manager Mike Rizzo before the game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker (R) talks to general manager Mike Rizzo before the game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Sep 17, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen hits a two-run single against the Cincinnati Reds during the second inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /

McCutchen Isn’t The Best Option

The Washington Nationals have recently been discussing a deal for Pirates All Star outfielder Andrew McCutchenhoweverwhile McCutchen could do wonders for their lineup, he’s not worth the hefty price tag the Pirates have put on him; the Pirates are asking for top outfield prospect Victor Robles and one of three young arms: Joe Ross, Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito. Is he worth all that? Coming off a bad year, and hitting the age of 30, he simply is not.

Throughout most of his career, McCutchen has been an elite outfielder and one of the best players in all of baseball. He hit over .290 from 2012 to 2015, and won the 2013 NL MVP; however, 2016 was a struggle for him.

Last year, he hit a career low .256 and drove in 79 runs, which is the fewest amount of runs he’s driven in since 2010; however, those numbers aren’t terrible, and it’s likely that he will bounce back next year, but that doesn’t mean the Washington Nationals should deal away two prized young players, and gamble on McCutchen.

McCutchen is an All-Star and an MVP player, but he had a year in which he showed some signs of regression, and considering the fact that he will not be had for cheap, the Nationals should resist the urge to make a deal for him. Instead, they should look to upgrade their outfield via the free agent market, rather than the trade market. 

In particular, two guys stand out as potential targets.